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Digital Security Expert Avast Reimagines George Orwell’s 1984 as 2021


Matt Smith plays the role of protagonist Winston Smith in the audiobook campaign from The Romans

Digital Security Expert Avast Reimagines George Orwell’s 1984 as 2021

Digital security expert Avast has teamed up with creative agency The Romans to reimagine and rerelease George Orwell’s ‘1984’ as ‘2021’ to highlight the similarities between today’s increased online surveillance and the Big Brother society predicted by Orwell over 70 years ago.

With the copyright of the original text expiring earlier this year, the re-released version has all references of 1984 amended to 2021 so as to contextualise the novel in a modern setting and to highlight the complexities and dangers of online surveillance in today’s society. 

Dr Who and The Crown star, Matt Smith, plays the role of protagonist Winston Smith in the audiobook release which is today available via Spotify and Apple. 

The original artwork cover has also been reimagined for the modern day by acclaimed designer Rodrigo Corral, previous artistic collaborator with Edward Snowden.

Avast research reveals than more than four in five Brits (82%) think the themes of hyper-surveillance found in the book are coming true today, while 69% of Brits are concerned that their online activity might be monitored by the sites and apps they use. In fact, 43% of the UK no longer believe online privacy even exists. 

Matt Smith commented: “Nineteen Eighty-Four is a literary classic and Winston is a fascinating character, so to be able to bring the story into the modern day is an honour. Great literature maintains a universality over the course of time - particularly true in the case of this novel, which still feels extremely pertinent today. I’ve got involved in this project as I feel having digital freedom online is so important in today’s society. In a world where we may feel required to share more of ourselves than ever before, it’s something we should endeavour to be really diligent about.”

Joe Mackay-Sinclair, creative at The Romans said: “Our starting point with any campaign is to look to the cultural reference points that inform and shape the conversation we want to be part of. Here, with the incredibly simple substitution of just four numerals, Avast is able to make a powerful statement about the times we’re living in.”

Shane McNamee, chief privacy officer at Avast comments: “Avast believes online privacy is a fundamental human right. Online interactions which involve people’s personal data aren’t just economic transactions, but instead are inextricably linked to digital identity or personality. By being informed about and reviewing the personal data consumers allow access to, and having the right tools to help take back control of their online existence, users can take steps to better protect themselves online.”

The campaign launched yesterday and has already attracted significant coverage, being featured in Forbes, The Independent, The Metro, The Evening Standard, The Mirror, The Sun and many more. 

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Categories: Media and Entertainment, Books

The Romans, Fri, 03 Dec 2021 11:22:50 GMT